Land of steam puffs and renewable energy
Discover the geysers and fumaroles that inspired Dante's Inferno, in an area of Tuscany characterised by rocks, steam and heat, but also by lots of greenery and an extraordinary solitary rock.
Surrounded by a landscape with a fairy-tale and mythological air, the village of Pomarance owes its fame to geothermal energy and the industrial activity related to renewable energy that has one of its largest centres in the world here. The historic and nature trails that run through this part of the Val di Cecina are an attraction for young and adults, and a valid alternative to the more travelled tours and hiking trails.
The history of Pomarance, and in particular of the hamlet of Larderello, is linked to the one of the De Larderel family and its most famous exponent: the engineer and entrepreneur Francesco de Larderel. Having moved to this area in the 19th century from France, Francesco de Larderel promoted the use of natural steam as a source of clean energy, quickly building a small empire in the geothermal industry: it is no coincidence that today Pomarance and Larderello are considered the geothermal capital of the world!
A natural area that is the most evocative to visit to venture among the geysers and fumaroles is the nearby Valle del Diavolo (Devil's Valley), set in Castelnuovo Val di Cecina area, and whose suggestive name immediately prepares visitors for a panorama quite unusual. Dante Alighieri, imagining the scenario of the Inferno, took inspiration from this area, and after him many other authors were impressed and fascinated, including Gabriele D'Annunzio.
In order to discover and fully understand the importance of the entire geothermal area, the ideal is an itinerary that includes, in addition to the excursion, a visit to the Larderello Geothermal Museum: through numerous rooms and an exciting virtual descent to the centre of the Earth, you will be projected into this particular world, made of heat, vapours and energy. An experience that will captivate even children with its mysterious charm and fantasy flavour!
The Rocca Sillana offers a spectacular view of the steam-covered landscape, an imposing construction (free admission) that rises among the surrounding woods and stands on a small hillock. This fortification is an "must" stage to enjoy the entire panorama of the Val di Cecina, which opens up in all its beauty.
Pomarance area is home to several nature reserves that together constitute a true green lung whose colours contrast with the unusual and rocky landscape of fumaroles. The Monterufoli - Caselli Nature Reserve and the Berignone Forest Nature Reserve offer hiking trails that wind through the vegetation and along watercourses, in a habitat rich in biodiversity.
A wide range of outdoor activities are also suitable for the little ones allowing them to explore the woods and feel like real adventurers in the jungle! Horse rides and trekking itineraries are ideal to discover the lairs of small animals with children, perhaps being lucky enough to say hello to the curious foxes that occasionally show up.
Discovering Pomarance and its territory also involves taste: focus on sustainability, zero miles and the use of renewable energy has brought together companies and producers under the Food Community brand, which is now part of Slow Food's 'Mother Earth' project.
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